This is a collection of experiences and reflections from journalists, old hands and new ones, who see beyond the story at hand. For more practical advice, and rip-roaring tales of life on the road, check out the new book Little Bunch of Madmen: Elements of Global Reporting. If you’d like to contribute, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For periodic musings, grumbling and occasional fresh ideas on global reporting, check out Mort's Notebook. Follow us with the Madmen at Work RSS Feed .

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On Asking Questions
By David Briscoe

Having sat through a few Rumsfeld briefings and experienced the chortles of the "sympathetic claque," I'm not particularly proud of any of the reporting that relies so heavily on what the Pentagon wants to tell us. Reporters who would ask repetitive, annoying or even so-called naive questions are rarely advanced or encouraged by editors who often view the world solely from an American point of view and would rather quote an American than an Iraqi, a general than a lieutenant, a policymaker than a victim or a wounded soldier.

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On Bangkok in Turmoil
By James Pringle

Bangkok - It is just like old times in South East Asia. War on the doorstep, and the prospect of it changing to a civil conflict, and spreading throughout the country.  Schools are closed, and there is talk of curfews in this vast capital of 13 million, and its large central commercial area has become a hazardous warzone.

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On Changing Journalism
By Sydney Schanberg

With life on our planet spinning faster and faster on the electronic wings of the digital revolution, I have no simple answers.

There is no way to turn back the clock. The world has embraced the new technology, and as I see it, the craft of credible, serious journalism is in a state of chaos.

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On Moscow
by Michael Johnson
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Reporting from Moscow in the days of the Cold War was basically a game of cat and mouse. There were 22 U.S. journalists based in Moscow at the time, and an equal number of Soviet journalist-spies in New York and Washington. On both sides, we  maneuvered non-stop to beat the controls placed upon us.

What was the story? We thought it would be about the potential for nuclear war, the relative strength of armies, and Soviet expansionism in Europe. In those days no one could be sure how successful the communist dream might turn out to be. The assignment was one of the best in the world because we were sure to be on Page One most of the time.

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On Getting Audiences to Care
By Phil Bronstein

Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times' often heroic international journalist, has stuck his inquisitive snout into dangerous situations throughout his career.

But admitting that there's a white reporter's burden in writing about Africa is among the braver things he's done. It's the bold revelation of a messy little secret not so mysterious to those of us in the profession.

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